NBA

AP Source: Pelicans Coach Stan Van Gundy Out After 1 Season

Jun 16, 2021, 10:11 AM | Updated: Nov 29, 2022, 2:42 pm
DALLAS, TEXAS - MAY 12: Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the New Orleans Pelicans in the first quarter ...
DALLAS, TEXAS - MAY 12: Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the New Orleans Pelicans in the first quarter at American Airlines Center on May 12, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stan Van Gundy is out as Pelicans coach following just one season at the helm, a person familiar with the situation said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the move has not been publicly announced.

Hired last October, about two months before the start of a pandemic-delayed and shortened season, Van Gundy coached a Pelicans squad led by All-Star Zion Williamson to a 31-41 record. New Orleans finished in 11th place, a few game out of the final Western Conference play-in spot.

The move means Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin will be hiring his second coach in as many season after firing Alvin Gentry last summer.

The next coach will be Williamson’s third since he entered the NBA as the league’s first overall draft choice in 2019.

Griffin had articulated higher hopes for Van Gundy when he hired him, at age 61 to oversee a roster in which most players were younger than 25.

“This is a proven winner and this is a coach that can win right now,” Griffin said after Van Gundy’s hiring. “More importantly to us, it is a coach that is a teacher and a very sincere, authentic human being who is going to build long-lasting relationships with our team.”

Van Gundy spent parts of 12 seasons coaching Miami, Orlando and Detroit, winning 58% of his games and going to the playoffs eight times.

“Because we look at this team as just now scratching the surface of what we hope is a long, sustainable run, coach Van Gundy was obviously the selection for us,” Griffin said. “In addition to giving us the best chance to win in the short term, we feel he gives us the best chance to build a sustainable winner in the long term.”

But star players such as forward Brandon Ingram offered only tepid reviews of Van Gundy’s coaching style.

“It’s OK,” Ingram said after the season ended. “This is our first year together. He has a different coaching style that I’m used to seeing from most.”

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AP Source: Pelicans Coach Stan Van Gundy Out After 1 Season